BOSTON (WWLP) – A Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) program is providing funding for new trail connections, bus shelters, traffic calming, bikeshare stations, and areas for outdoor dining and community activities across the state.
The Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program is awarding $5,318,845.57 to 36 municipalities and two public transit authorities for 40 projects. Of the awarded municipalities, 50% are designated Environmental Justice communities and 18% are considered high-risk for Covid infections.
Communities in western Massachusetts that will receive funding are:
- Franklin Regional Transit Authority, in partnership with Greenfield, received $44,649.28 to implement improvements at the Franklin Regional Transit Authority bus stop on Elm Street at Elm Terrace in Greenfield, to include a new section of sidewalk, new passenger waiting areas, crosswalks, signs, and ADA-compliant curb ramps.
- Holyoke received $72,000 to purchase three new bikeshare stations, to add to the current nine stations, through the ValleyBike program.
- Orange received $27,401.29 to improve accessibility in the downtown area and create new safe connections to the North Quabbin Trail, Town Hall, Council on Aging, District Court, and Franklin Regional Transit Authority and Montachusett Regional Transit Authority bus stops by adding new crosswalks and narrowing Main Street.
- Pittsfield received $162,880.82 to create two quick-installation parklets to be available to local businesses and restaurants and buffered bike lanes on both sides of the street along a 0.7 mile long corridor.
The Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program began in June 2020 and provides grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $500,000 for municipalities and transit authorities create and improve safer walking, biking, public transit, recreation, commerce, and civic activities. These improvements can be intentionally temporary or can be pilots of potentially permanent changes. MassDOT is particularly focused on projects that respond to the current public health crisis and provide safe mobility for children, for elders, to public transportation, and to open space and parks.